Opuntia polyacantha

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 Opuntia polyacantha subsp. var.  
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[[]] > Opuntia polyacantha var. ,

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Standard Cyclopedia of Horticulture

Opuntia polyacantha. Haw. (O. missouriensis, DC. O. ferox, Haw. O. splendens, Hort.). Fig. 2604 (adapted from Pacific R. R. Report). A prostrate, wide-spreading plant, rarely rising 1 ft. above the ground: joints variable, from elongate-obovate to orbicular, usually bright green, frequently wrinkled and tuberculate, 2-6 in. long: areoles about ½ in. apart, with short, grayish wool and long, reddish brown bristles; spines 0-12, very variable in length, number and color on different forms and plants from different localities, mostly marginal, white or variously tinged with red or brown, slender, twisted and flattened, some reaching a length of 3 in.: fls. yellow, darker within, 2-2½ in. wide: fr. broadly ovate or subglobose, ¾-1 in. diam., armed with numerous rather short spines; seeds comparatively large. W. Cent. U. S.—A species of wide distribution and very variable, some high mountain forms entirely without spines, while other forms are armed with a close network of closely interwoven ones. A number of the forms have been segregated as varieties, of which the best known are rufispina, platycarpa, microsperma, albispina and trichophora, Hort. All the forms appear to run together and the varietal distinctions are of doubtful value. Hardy in Mass.

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